According to preliminary data recently released by Census and HUD, multifamily (5+ units) completions ticked up in March while permits and starts tempered.
Good news or not so good news? Hard to tell. Monthly figures for multifamily tend to be volatile, particularly during the winter months, so it’s always better to look at the latest data in some context to get a better grasp of what’s really happening to supply.
Calculated Risk’s Bill McBride examined the data on a 12-month rolling basis in this post, comparing starts to completions. His takeaway:
The rolling 12-month total for starts (blue line) has been increasing steadily, and completions (red line) are lagging behind-but completions will continue to follow starts up (completions lag starts by about 12 months). This means there will be an increase in multifamily completions in 2014, but probably still below the 1997 through 2007 level of multifamily completions. Multifamily starts will probably move more sideways in 2014.”